Looking Into The Past And Playing with Images

I love this idea From Jason Powell pointed out by a colleague on Twitter. In previous posts I have reflected and waxed about how we might use historical images to investigate, locate, discuss and compare modern scenes within a given location. This use of digital photography to embed the past within the modern scene however is a really interesting idea. I like the way the historical landscape is not removed from the scene, but used as integral to it and fits like a missing piece from a jigsaw puzzle. Just pondering how this type of image composition process might be used as part of a digital photography project. How practical it might be to embed it in field trips or orientering type activity.

Being a bit of a Pink Floyd fan, and ambling off track a little as usual, seeing these images and a recent tweat around using ICT to support art projects reminded me of a small scale project with some students a while back using a trial version of Serif Photoplus I picked up at a conference. The project involved creating images in the style of Magritte.

Downloaded scans of paintings from the Internet were used initialy to create template files and masks, where for example in this image the landscape was removed. The painting and window used to form a framing layer. The students used digital cameras to capture views and images from around school including landscapes and objects captured from unsual angles.

Once downloaded to the computer the children chose a frame for their image, and applied filter effects to their own images, before inserting these to the template, and exporting these as jpegs. This video presentation contains the student outcomes from this activity.

Within the National Primary Framework for Literacy there are number of references to using graphic manipulation to apply effects to images either in response to texts or in support of composition through the creation of scenes and settings. Some of these images particularly the landscapes make for strange viewing.

A number of Magritte's images make great starting points for discussion generally, but would also make brilliant talk for writing prompts in developing openers and links to the weird and wonderful in narrative units such as those associated with Fantasy and Strange World Settings. Here are a couple that set my mind a whirring.

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